Game & Tournament Rules
- Each Manhattan Beach elementary school may enter one or more teams
- MBMS and MCHS may combine to enter one or more teams (MCHS may include Hermosa Beach resident parents)
- American Martyrs may enter one or more teams
- Additional South Bay schools may enter one or more teams with permission of the tournament director
- Teams must be comprised of current faculty and/or parents of a student attending the school
- A parent must play for the school of their youngest attendee to an eligible school. Exceptions:
- Residents of Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach with no children in an eligible school may play as a "free agent"
- Free Agents may be assigned to teams by the tournament director to balance out participation
- Other exceptions may be made by the tournament director upon request
- Each participant shall be eligible to play for only one squad throughout the day, including in any playoff or championship game, even if the school or group with which that player is affiliated provides more than one team. Penalties against a second team using a player are in the discretion of the umpires and tournament director, and may include declaration of forfeit.
Sportsmanship & Waiver Requirement
- This event is about CHARITY FIRST. It raises money for schools. It's fun, but please remember the purpose.
- A minimum of $200 charitable contribution to MBX per player is recommended to participate. Thank you for understanding and for pitching in what you can.
- Each participant MUST sign an injury waiver and will not be allowed to participate until such waiver is signed. Managers must confirm that their players have signed.
- THIS IS A FAMILY EVENT AND CHILDREN WILL BE IN ATTENDANCE. Please curtail any use of profanity and be a SHINING MODEL OF GOOD BEHAVIOR.
- There is nothing wrong with competition, but PLEASE display your BEST SPORTSMANSHIP at all times.
- Sportsmanship includes treating all players fairly and with respect. This includes how the fielding team responds to weaker or injured players on the offensive team.
- ANY INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR OR PROFANITY CAN, AT THE SOLE DISCRETION OF THE UMPIRES AND THE TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR, RESULT IN YOUR EXPULSION FROM ONE GAME OR FROM THE TOURNAMENT.
- All players on the roster and present for the game shall bat. If a player misses an at-bat for any reason other than injury, the scheduled at-bat shall count as an out.
- Each team shall use a consistent batting order from the start to the finish of each individual game, with exceptions only to remove injured players or, upon the umpire's approval, to add late-arriving players. Any late players shall be added after the last slot in the order, regardless of the time in the game.
- A batter appearing at the plate out of order and taking a pitch shall be declared out.
- Only American Softball Association (ASA) approved bats are allowed.
- Each batter is allowed three (3) pitches thrown by a pitcher from his or her own team. If the hitter fouls off the third pitch, another pitch is allowed. There is no limit to the number of third-pitch foul balls. The batter is out after 3 pitches unless the ball is put in play or fouled off.
- Bunting and half swings are not allowed. If, in the umpire's sole discretion, a hit is deemed to have been a bunt or a half-swing, the pitch shall count, but the batter may not take a base. If it was the batter's third pitch, the batter is out. If it was the first or second pitch, the batter may return to the plate for additional pitche(s).
- Home run balls: We play on Little League fields. The first ball hit in each at-bat clearing the outfield fence in fair territory is to be considered a foul ball. The second hit from the same batter in the same at-bat to clear the outfield fence in fair territory is an OUT.
- Foul ball home runs are regular foul balls.
- Excessive home run balls: If a player or a team hits an excessive number of balls over the fence, the umpire and tournament director shall have the authority to implement a rule providing the first ball hit over the outfield fence (fair or foul) by that team shall be an out.
- Each team may have 9 fielders.
- Because the offense supplies the pitcher, having 4 outfielders (or more) is permitted.
Ground Rules: Balls In & Out Of Play
- A batted ball hitting the pitcher is a foul ball.
- Any batted ball touching a fielder's glove or body before going over the outfield fence on a fly (in fair territory) shall be ruled a ground-rule double.
- A batted ball that bounces over the outfield fence in fair territory is a ground-rule double.
- Force plays only at home: For safety, all plays at home plate shall be force plays (i.e., runner is out if the ball beats the runner and is caught by a defender, with no tag necessary). Runners shall not touch home plate. Instead, runners are required to cross a line drawn in chalk perpendicular to home plate. The catcher must step on home plate and catch the ball before the runner crosses the scoring line. The purpose of this force-play rule is to avoid collisions and injuries. A runner that touches home plate or who, in the opinion of the umpire, interferes with the catcher, is to be called out.
- 3B/Home - Point of no return: Once a runner crosses a line halfway between third (3rd) base and home plate, the runner must continue and cannot go back to 3rd base. A runner returning to 3rd after crossing the halfway point, in the opinion of the umpire, is to be called out.
- Runners may advance only on a batted ball. Leadoffs are prohibited. Steals are prohibited. Tagging up after a caught fly ball is permitted.
- Sliding discouraged: Sliding or diving into bases is strongly discouraged. If you want to know how to get injured or cause injury to your neighbors who are playing in the game, sliding, diving or other aggressive base-running tactics are all great ways to do it. Aggressive or dangerous behavior by a runner can result in an out, in the discretion of the umpire, and may result in expulsion from the game or the tournament.
- Pinch runners: A team may call for a pinch runner for a batter who reaches base but is injured while running. A pinch runner may be used for a player who has a pre-existing injury (as opposed to simply a slow runner) subject to approval and in the sole discretion of the umpire. A pinch runner must be the batter who made the most recent out in the same inning, or, if there are no outs, the batter who made the last out of the prior inning. Use of a pinch runner shall only be requested due to injury and shall in no event be used to seek an advantage.
Mercy Rule & Scoring
- Teams will mercifully change sides when one team scores six (6) runs in one inning, except for the final inning, when there is to be no run limit for either side.
- The home team will not bat in the 6th inning (or final inning if declared due to time limit) if/when it has the lead. Play shall cease in the bottom half of the last inning when the home team's score surpasses the visiting team's score. This rule will be in place regardless of any tie-breaker rules.
- If your team is clearly superior, or having an exceptionally good game, DO NOT RUN UP THE SCORE. Any teams doing so will be subject to expulsion and will not be invited back. There are plenty of serious tournaments to play in; this is not one of them. See below on tie-breakers – there are no benefits for scoring extra runs.
Game Length & Time Limit Rules
- Games are scheduled to be 6 innings, but may be declared to be subject to a time limit, in the discretion of the tournament director, if the tournament is behind schedule.
- Games may end in a tie after 6 innings, except for the final game, which will be played to conclusion.
- If the director declares that time limits shall apply, all games going forward are subject to time limit rules, except the final/championship game. The director will designate a time, counted from the first pitch, after which no new inning shall begin.
- The umpire is the sole authority on time-keeping for the game and has sole discretion regarding whether to continue play.
- If, due to time limits, the final inning is declared by the umpire prior to the 6th inning, no run limit (mercy rule) shall apply. The inning shall be played in its entirety.
- Tournament format will be determined each year based on the number of teams that are scheduled to play. Typically, we will play some sort of round robin format with the top two teams playing in a championship game.
- For 2017, with 10 teams playing, we will have two divisions of 5 teams each. Teams will be placed into divisions by the tournament director in creating the schedule. With 4 games to play, every team in each division will play each other once. The team with the best record from each division will advance to the championship game. In the event that two or more teams in a division have the same record, tie-breaking rules will take effect.
- TIE BREAKERS: In the event that two or more teams in a division have the same record after all of their games, the following tie-breaker rules will apply:
- The first tie-breaker will be head-to-head game results, i.e., if one team beat the other, that team is the division winner.
- If needed, the second tie-breaker will be fewest runs allowed.
- Total runs scored will NOT be used as a tie-breaker.
- If the first and second tie breakers do not decide a winner, the tournament director shall, in his sole discretion, choose a random method (coin flip, number draw, etc.) to break the tie.